Kate Cruickshank

Senior Associate Pouarataki Pāhake

Kate has more than 15 years’ experience advising on a range of commercial contracts, with in-depth knowledge of the technology, film and energy sectors. She is known for her ability to provide pragmatic, well-grounded legal advice.

Kate regularly assists her private and public sector clients with large-scale information technology master services agreements, systems integration agreements, subscription agreements for delivery ‘As a Service’ (SaaS), telecommunications services agreements, and support service agreements. In addition to her technology experience, Kate helps clients negotiate a wide range of procurement processes and customer and supplier agreements, particularly in the downstream energy sector, with the firm’s longstanding client Z Energy.

With niche experience in the film and media sector, Kate has acted for the New Zealand Film Commission on its funding of New Zealand films. She is adept at negotiating film financing documents with producers, distributors and sales agents, film financiers, and international film related government agencies.

Kate has both private practice and in-house international experience. She worked in London at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and then as senior legal counsel for Geo Networks, a dark fibre telecommunications company. She has strong communication skills having dealt with all parties (both internal and external) to TMT transactions.

Recognised as a Rising Star in TMT by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Kate is renowned for her ability to provide commercially astute and pragmatic advice, as well as working seamlessly with the various business units of her clients. She is described by clients as “a very capable and pragmatic lawyer, her assistance was extremely valuable to our business. Kate was a strong legal resource during the negotiation and drafting process, but also provided a strong commercial voice/sounding board during this process” – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022.

Career highlights

Advising Z Energy on its partnership with Evnex, a smart charging manufacturer, to offer a rollout of over a thousand EV chargers to homes and small businesses over New Zealand. Kate is embedded alongside Z’s legal and commercial team for all aspects of the rollout, providing practical commercial and strategic advice.

Advising Z Energy in respect of its delivery of workplace EV charging infrastructure to Europcar to support Europcar’s EV offering to its customers. Kate has worked closely with Z’s EV fleet and mobility team to develop documentation to enable Z to offer these new products and services.

Advising the New Zealand Film Commission on its funding and investment into New Zealand films, Kate leads the drafting and negotiation of all relevant transaction documents, as well as the interparty agreement that governs all parties’ investments into the film. She works closely with the Film Commission’s legal and business affairs team and development and production team.

Advising the New Zealand Film Commission who enters into an agreement (on behalf of the New Zealand government) with selected, invited, international productions that qualify for an additional rebate, based on the production delivering significant economic benefit to New Zealand. Kate leads the drafting and negotiation of these agreements for the New Zealand Film Commission, working alongside with the Film Commission’s Incentives team.

Advising TAB New Zealand on the re-negotiation of its key agreements with its counterpart in Australia and with SKY. These agreements relate to the exploitation of New Zealand racing information and the right to broadcast New Zealand racing in Australia, and TAB New Zealand’s rights to Australian racing information, and to broadcast Australian racing in New Zealand.

Advising Z Energy on its move from a legacy system to a SaaS platform for its Z Business card offering. This involved negotiation of a master services agreement to underpin the installation and integration services to be provided by, and the ongoing processing agreement with, the SaaS platform provider.

Advising Oranga Tamariki on its move from its legacy ERP system to SAP SaaS platform available through the All-of-Government SaaS (AoG SaaS) panel arrangements. This involved reviewing the AoG SaaS suite of agreements, negotiating specific variations with the supplier and internal workarounds with Oranga Tamariki, negotiating a Master Services Agreement with a third-party implementation service provider and associated statements of work.

Achievements and recognition
  • Rising Star, Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT), The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Tier 1 team, Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT), The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • Band 1 team, Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT), Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • Band 1 team, Energy & Natural Resources, Chambers Asia-Pacific